Rosé Champagne can be a strange breed. The diversity of styles is mind-boggling, and often one is left pondering if a bottling or glass in front of you is true and valid. The more expensive deluxe cuvees can vary considerably, and if anything can be even more difficult to understand.
The Prince very generously brought along for consumption a rosé that baffled him in style. Immediately he voiced his concerns about the style. I tend to be quite open and accepting of the varied styles. Sure I have seen a broad range of them, but I know that if I had “no problem” with it stylistically, we’d all get to drink it sooner, and without the need to analyse it to pieces! Rather self-serving approach, don’t you say?
The wine in question, the 2006 Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne’ Champagne Rosé. This style is a relative rarity, the Blanc de Blancs generally more popular, with its fine white floral and citrus fruit flavours, refined acidity and intensity, and stylishness. The ‘Comtes de Champagne’ Chardonnay could hardly be represented better. But the ‘Comtes Rosé’ is a different beast again. It’s more about the Pinot Noir showcasing itself and what pink brings. On colour, this is deep and positively peach-pink, rather than what appears to be the more fashionable pale and delicate pink. There’s a touch of age showing too. The bouquet and palate features fruitiness, with savoury strawberries and an amalgam of ripe red berries. The fruit is prominent and actually allows sweetness to take over from the savouriness. The bready-yeasty autolysis is very much in a support role and quite discreet. The mouthfeel has lusciousness, with the red wine addition extremely harmonious, and the tannins beautifully integrated. In a way, this is a sparkling wine more as a red than a rosé! It sits at that end of the spectrum of expression, and is truly delicious. The more recent rosé Champagnes – SWMBO and I have enjoyed, I must state, have been pale in style in comparison.